Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Being a "Mom-trepreneur"

As if being a mom to an energetic 2 year-old wasn't hard enough, adding entrepreneur to the job description comes with its own challenges.  Sure, I had my doubts, some guilt, and was even discouraged at times, but deep down, I knew that being in charge of something and making my own rules would pay off in the long run.  It quite possibly has allowed me to keep my sanity.  :)

Now that we've been open for over a month, I am constantly being asked, "How do you do it?"  I especially get asked that by the people who've had the privilege of meeting my sweet, yet sassy son, Vincent.  Well, there are a few things that any working or business-owning mom can do to keep themselves and the little ones happy.

1. Faith/Confidence - First and foremost, faith in yourself and what you're doing is paramount.  I often have to remind myself, "I've got this."  Yes, I do get stressed and I do have bad days, but ultimately, I know that I can do this.  And for the spiritual or religious, faith in a higher power to give you strength to make it through the tough times (ie, sick days, low sales days, etc.).  When we struggle, it's easy to forget that we need this kind of support to get over the hump.  I even say prayers showing how thankful I am for spending another day in my shop with my beautiful boy.

2. Time Management - I cannot reiterate enough how time well spent can lead to increased success...or at least the satisfaction that you've done the best you can do with what you have.  Some benefit from routines or schedules.  I, personally, LOVE checklists/to-do lists.  This is a skill I was taught to do in college, which helped me graduate a semester earlier than my peers.  Now, I create to-do lists that start with the most important things that need to be done that day and end with things that would be nice if it was done, but was not necessarily a priority.  I also remind myself that the entire list does not have to be done.  Then, I further prioritize by what will require the most concentration and do those things while Vincent naps or after he goes to bed at night.  The benefit to that is, I get to concentrate on that task, it takes less time because there are no interruptions, and Vincent gets the attention he needs while he's awake.

3.  "Me Time" - Even if you don't work, you always need to set up some sort of regular "me time" for yourself.  That means, do something you enjoy doing without the kid(s), spouse, significant other around.  Easier said than done, right?  Look at it this way, even a 15 minute soak in the bath tub with your favorite scents or candles can suffice.  Yea, I know I get to knit a lot, which I enjoy doing, but I still take some time to myself every day.  I don't allow anyone to interrupt my morning shower routine so that I can get a little relaxation before I start a busy day.  Of course, that doesn't always happen, since Vincent may occasionally wake up early, or one of the cats starts howling at the bathroom door because they decide that my attention is needed right that very minute.  In some cases, I may even go to a movie on my own, which is a wonderful thing to do on a Saturday afternoon if hubby isn't working.

4.  Support - Let's face it, no one is perfect.  We all have our bad days or even things that get us down from time to time.  And I know I cannot do everything on my own.  It will save your sanity (and your child's as well) if you have someone you can vent to, someone who can help you when you get too busy (even with great time management skills this can happen), or just plain someone who will drive the getaway car when you've finally lost your mind and need to escape.  This is why I talk to my mother on a daily basis: it's therapeutic for the both of us.  She runs a bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere, Illinois.  So we have our chat every morning about husbands, kids, or business, crack a few jokes, have some laughs, and then go on about the day.  Somehow it brightens my day to know that Vincent is oddly similar to myself and my brother and how we drove my mom batty when we were kids.  

So with all that being said, am I still crazy for running my own business while taking care of a Peanut?  Oh, did I mention that I'd like to have another at some point in the future (not now, but maybe after the business has been open for a year or two)?  Hubby thinks I'm nuts.  :)

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